by Prescott Williams, current Board of Directors

The most important thing I remember of the start-up meetings regarding the creation of, at the time, Neighborhood Housing Services of Waco, Inc is the diversity of the concerned citizens who participated. People joined the meetings from a large variety of backgrounds and economic levels; I was especially gratified to see that. There was, however, some level of distrust between groups that were not used to working together; as with all groups, varying egos and agendas caused some friction in the beginning. At the end of the day, though, most all participants wanted the same thing: to improve Waco neighborhoods, and we were eventually able to unite for this purpose.

Looking back, I’m thankful that those of us, myself included, that had small children brought them to most of those start-up meetings. In addition to stealing most of the strawberry off the fruit platters provided, these kids were exposed to a group of people who – in spite of misgivings, conflicting wants, and personalities – still managed to work together to achieve their goal (perhaps Congress should have been there). Many kindhearted, caring people worked very hard, giving much of their free time and knowledge to this cause. We believed that any client we helped into homeownership or any property we helped improve bettered the city as a whole, regardless of where it happened. And I still believe that.

 

From the very beginning, the organization and its Board of Directors were structured to embrace diversity and inclusiveness – long before they became catchwords. That was, and is, still a goal. Coming back on the Board of Directors several years ago, I was most impressed with the quality of members Neighborworks Waco, both the organization and the board, still attracts. Personally, I know I may not bring the same professional skills, such as lending or real estate, to the table that other Board members do, but I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of something really special. I hope we can keep expanding our offerings to serve more and more of our community.

Click here to return to NeighborNews Spring 2018!